Martyn Godfrey Young Writers Award

We know there are a lot of awesome young writers and artists in Alberta.

We think they deserve a little extra recognition, and the Martyn Godfrey Award is just the thing! This is an annual, juried short story contest open to all Albertan students in grades 4 through 9.

Please note that we are no longer accepting stories in comic format due to the declining number of comic entries. Short stories are by far more popular amongst our participating young writers so we have decided to focus on that.

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Martyn Godfrey Young Writers Award logo

Who was Martyn Godfrey?

Martyn Godfrey (1949-2000) was born in England and raised in Toronto. Initially a school teacher in Ontario and Alberta, he became a full-time writer for young adult and juvenile fiction in 1985. He had more than 40 books published, and he toured with the Young Alberta Book Society for many years. One of the things he enjoyed most about his career was laughing over the creative and hilarious letters he received from kids. It was his joy in reading those letters that inspired us to create this award in his honour.

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Are there prizes?

You bet! We give away a book prize to a winner from each grade (six altogether), and two grand prizes: one for best elementary short story, one for best junior high short story. The grand prize winners each receive an author visit for their schools and book prizes!

The 2020 Rules – New Deadline!

Due to the school closures, YABS extended the deadline to June 30, 2020 so parents and educators could make use of the program as a writing activity for students learning from home. Jurying is taking place over the summer and we’ll contact the winners at the end of August.

Are there prizes?

You bet! We give away a book prize to a winner from each grade (six altogether), and two grand prizes: one for best elementary short story, one for best junior high short story. The grand prize winners each receive an author visit for their schools and book prizes!

The 2020 Rules – New Deadline!

Due to the school closures, YABS extended the deadline to June 30, 2020 so parents and educators could make use of the program as a writing activity for students learning from home. Jurying is taking place over the summer and we’ll contact the winners at the end of August.

**Please note that submissions sent through Google Docs must have permissions enabled for info@yabs.ab.ca. We have received many entries that cannot be opened because they are restricted.**

  1. All entries must be received by midnight on June 30 by email to info@yabs.ab.ca. Students may enter individually or through their school. Entries may also be mailed to YABS at 11759 Groat Road, Edmonton, AB, T5M 3K6.
  2. Each entry must be wholly original, unpublished, and not submitted elsewhere for publication or performance. (Submitted to teachers for class is okay!)
  3. Entrants must be in grade 4-9 in Alberta at the time of entry. (Homeschoolers are eligible and welcome to enter!)
  4. Each submission must be the creative and original work of a single individual and must be a complete story (ie. no first chapter of a novel entries)
  5. All entries in this competition will be judged anonymously, on merit alone. Entries will be judged based on factors including but not necessarily limited to grade level appropriate grammar, spelling, composition, writing mechanics, originality, and creativity.
  6. A completed MGA Cover Page must be attached to each submission, whether hard copy or electronic file. Entries without a cover page will not be accepted. (If you are unable to download files, don’t worry! Just email us at info@yabs.ab.ca and we will send you what you need.)
  7. There is no limit to how many stories an entrant may submit, but a separate cover page MUST be submitted for each story.
  8. Short stories must be typed in a 10 to 12 point font and double-spaced, and if hard-copy, submitted on 8.5 x 11 inch white paper with black text. Permitted fonts are Times New Roman, Arial, and Helvetica. If there are circumstances in which typing the story is impossible, please contact the office to discuss accommodations.
  9. Recommended short story length is 500-2500 words. Maximum short story length is 5000 words.
  10. Entries may not be laminated or bound except for a single corner staple.
  11. Entries will not be returned. Please keep a copy for yourself.
  12. All contestants agree that the Young Alberta Book Society may print the winning entries, with full acknowledgement of their creators, in its newsletter, on its website, and in any other organizational publications.
  13. Winners will be notified by August 30 and announced on our Facebook page as soon as we are able to contact them.
  14. Prizes must be accepted as awarded and may not be redeemed for cash value. The decision of the judges is final. The literary artist visit portion of the prize is contingent upon the cooperation of the winner’s school. The literary artist visit will consist of a maximum of two 1-hour presentations for the student’s school or public library. The artist will be chosen by YABS.

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of the 2019-2020 Martyn Godfrey Award. Congratulations to all and keep writing!

2020 Martyn Godfrey Young Writers Award Winners

  • Best Grade 4 Story: Kimaya Satavalekar of Fairview Junior High in Calgary for “The Hunters”
  • Best Grade 5 Story: Kaylene Lugay of St Kateri Catholic School in Edmonton for “Dare to Make a Difference”
  • Best Grade 6 Story: Zachary Buchan of Tempo School in Edmonton for “A Fight for Survival”
  • Best Overall Elementary Story: Matilda Barron of Victoria School of the Performing Arts in Edmonton for “Back in Time”
  • Best Grade 7 Story: Linnea Price of Waldorf Independent School in Edmonton for “Cecily”
  • Best Grade 8 Story: Lilyann Saunders of River Valley School in Sundre for “A Golden Snowflake”
  • Best Grade 9 Story: Tumi Fabiyi of Fairview Junior High in Calgary for “Hello! My Name Is __”
  • Best Overall Junior High Story: Madison W. of CBE Homeschooling Program in Calgary for “The Dog That I Hated to Love”

2019 Martyn Godfrey Young Writers Award Winners

  • Elementary Grand Prize: Keenan Wong, Grade 4, George P. Nicholson School, Edmonton, for Conquering the Creature
  • Grade Four: Sarah Lam, Westbrook School, Edmonton, for The Hypnotists
  • Grade Five: Shyla Prasad, Daly Grove School, Edmonton, for Stone Ghosts
  • Grade Six: Andrea Hong, Westmount Charter School, Calgary, for Composter Treasure
  • Junior High Grand Prize: Hannah Smith, Grade 9, Nellie Carlson School, Edmonton, for holding on
  • Grade Seven: Lauren Martens, Bishop Pinkham, School, Calgary, for Shadows
  • Grade Eight: Tessa McLeod, Picture Butte High School, Picture Butte, for The Shadows Among Us
  • Grade Nine: Nova Collison, D. S. MacKenzie School, Edmonton, for Paintings of the Deceased

Congratulations to all of the winners!

2020 Honourable Mentions

  • Anna P. of Edmonton for “Once Upon a Piece of Magic” (grade 4)
  • Hannah S. of Edmonton for “Invisible” (grade 6)
  • Heidi B. of Edmonton for “Soaring Like a Bird” (grade 7)
  • Fatima S. of Calgary for “Her Cursed Motives” (grade 8)
  • Hailey B. of Fort MacLeod for “Legend of a Warrior” (grade 9)

2019 Honourable Mentions

  • Jack W. (gr. 4) of Calgary for The Adventures of J.A.W.
  • Linnea P. (gr. 6) of Edmonton for The More Things Stay the Same
  • Mya D. (gr. 6) of Edmonton for In Jeopardy
  • Raya W. (gr. 7) of Calgary for Shadows Can’t Cry
  • Nafiza H. (gr. 7) of Edmonton for Trapped
  • Julena F. (gr. 8) of Calgary for White Diamonds
  • Maia L. (gr. 8) of Edmonton for Operation Trapdoor
  • Brooklyn B. (gr. 9) of Calgary for The Bike
  • Elaine X. (gr. 9) of Calgary for The Course of a Night

Have a Question?

Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll be happy to help!

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